Exploring the Genetic Diversity of Mesopotamia and the Zagros Foothills between the Bronze Age and Persian Periods
Matthew Williams University of Adelaide
“Exploring the Genetic Diversity of Mesopotamia and the Zagros Foothills between the Bronze Age and Persian Periods”.
Across the Near East, previous ancient DNA research has revealed substantial genetic differentiation between the Levant, Anatolia and the Caucasus and Zagros mountains between the Epipaleolithic and Neolithic periods. Beginning around the 7th millennium BC, populations across the northern Near East formed a genetic gradient from which Late Chalcolithic and Bronze Age populations from eastern Anatolia, the northern Levant, the Zagros and southern Caucasus regions largely descend, with local affinities. However, the extent to which these processes shaped the genetic structure of Greater Mesopotamia is poorly understood due to the paucity of Mesopotamian and Transtigris ancient DNA research. This presentation will provide a brief introduction to ancient DNA, review the current ancient DNA Near Eastern literature and present preliminary data on the Bronze and Iron Ages from Bakr Awa and the Iron Age from Tell Barri.
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